Iconic Street Foods in Trinidad and Tobago
Living abroad sounds wonderful but it’s definitely not a walk in the park. When the excitement and the charm of it wear off, you will realize the huge adjustments that you need to do to survive in an unfamiliar ground and eventually, become a part of it.
As a picky eater, one of the many things that worried me the most was the thought of trying their local food. I wasn’t really sure if I could say goodbye to eating rice every day or if I would ever be able to adapt to my new country’s cuisine.
Thankfully, Trinidad didn’t make it hard for me because their dishes are just sooooo awe-mazing that it’s impossible to go hungry in this island paradise! It is guaranteed to satisfy everyone from people who love to try everything to the pickiest of eaters.
Here are 5 mouth-watering street foods Trinidad and Tobago can rightfully boast about.
#1 Bake And Shark
No trip to Trinidad’s Maracas Bay is ever complete without a taste of this delectable meal fully covered in sweet, sour and spicy overtones. Although the combination of the lightly-fried flatbread called “bake” and the crunchy fried shark meat is perfect on its own, the flavorful condiments like coleslaw, mustard, garlic sauce, pineapple, cucumber, mango chutney and a lot more give it a more satisfying overall eating experience. There’s no wrong or right way in dressing your sandwich but I would suggest that you don’t hold back!
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This greasy delight is the most iconic street food of Trinidad. It can be seen pretty much everywhere, filling the air with its delicious aroma. It is usually served warm with two chewy flatbreads called “bara” filled with hearty and tender curried chickpeas. And to perfectly match its texture and flavor, you can choose from a variety of amazing chutneys like culantro or Mexican coriander, tamarind, cucumber, mango, etc.
These soft and fluffy golden balls are made of deep fried split pea dough. Don’t be deceived by its cuteness because these bites are highly spiced and incredibly flavor-packed. You can dip it in any chutney sauce of your choice and just let it melt in your mouth. These delectable balls are also enjoyed in other Caribbean countries like Guyana and Suriname.
#4 Chow or Chow-Chow
In the Philippines, there are ambulant vendors selling fruits like pineapple or mango with bagoong (fermented shrimp paste). Well, this dish kind of reminds of that sumptuous salty goodness. To rev up the taste of the fruits such as mango, guava, pineapple, and more, Trinidadians soak it up in brine overnight and give it a spicy wicked personality by adding hot peppers, garlic, onion, culantro, lime and fresh herbs. Its sweet, sour, salty and spicy taste is sure to lure you back for more.
Souse is a Trinidadian method of pickling meat or trimmings like pig’s feet, chicken feet or cow’s skin. They marinate it in water, lime juice, hot peppers, cucumber, and other special seasonings to give it a perfect lip-puckering acidity and an extra punch of flavors. This dish is also the official favorite appetizer of people who love to drink and party because it is believed to decrease the alcohol in their system making it longer for them to get intoxicated. This traditional must-try dish of Trinidad is best served with fresh bread.
In essence, these mouth-watering street foods are perfect representations of the fierce, exotic and intense heat-seeking heart, mind, and soul of Trinidad and Tobago. No wonder foreigners like me, who get to experience the beauty and adventure this tropical island paradise offers, just fall madly and deeply in love with its charm.